For many people, the opening of a speech is the toughest part. I often hear from clients that if they can just make it through the first few minutes, they’ll be okay. They just need a way to get a little momentum, get the crowd on their side, and settle in to the environment around them. Conversely, if they don’t start strong things have a tendency to fall apart very quickly. They become self-conscious, short of breath, and consumed by negative thoughts.
So, how do you start strong, get the momentum rolling, and set yourself up for a great presentation? You must get an early victory: a laugh, a round of applause, or a genuine moment of connection. Pose a question and call for a show of hands. Hit your audience with a jaw dropping stat that causes an audible gasp. Tell a funny joke – just make sure it’s funny. Or even ask for a round of applause for the event organizer, or the guest of honor.
Rather than start your speech with a boring rundown of what you’ll be covering, or some stuffy, generic introduction that doesn’t move the needle, do something that raises the energy level in the room, so you, and the audience, can feed off of it together. Then, take that energy and run with it. It’s amazing what a strong start can do for your performance.
Get a win early and you’ll keep winning throughout!
If you’d like help writing and delivering a great speech, just reach out to me here.
Have a great day!